GREEK Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is set to appoint economics professor Yanis Varoufakis to lead his bid to renegotiate the country’s debts with the EU and International Monetary Fund.
Tsipras’ party Syriza gained 149 of the 300 seats in parliament, and so needed a partner.
It picked 13-strong Independent Greeks, or ANEL – another staunch anti-bailout party.
But rather than storming into a head-on collision with Germany, Tsipras’ likely new finance minister has made it clear that he wants to present the negotiations as positive for Germany and other creditors.
“The problem is not that [Germans] haven’t paid enough, it is that you have paid far too much,” Varoufakis told BBC’s Today programme. “You’ve paid €240bn to Greece over the last five years, but less than 10 per cent of that has gone anywhere near Greece. It has gone to creditors, it has fallen into a black hole of debt which is unsustainable.”
Instead, he wants to show Europe that Greece can reform by slashing bureaucracy, ending tax immunities and stopping corruption. Then Varoufakis said he will propose a debt plan which he said will help Germany get back as much of the funds as possible.
“The debt repayment schedule at the moment is completely disconnected from growth,” he said. “We want to bind repayments to economic growth, to make [Germany] partners in our recovery.”
Prime Minister David Cameron rang Tsipras to congratulate him yesterday.